Guest poem submitted by Suresh Ramasubramanian:
(Poem #567) Easter Wings
Lord, Who createdst man in wealth and store, Though foolishly he lost the same, Decaying more and more, Till he became Most poore: With Thee O let me rise, As larks, harmoniously, And sing this day Thy victories: Then shall the fall further the flight in me. My tender age in sorrow did beginne; And still with sicknesses and shame Thou didst so punish sinne, That I became Most thinne. With Thee Let me combine, And feel this day Thy victorie; For, if I imp my wing on Thine, Affliction shall advance the flight in me.
A beautiful metaphysical poem. Here, the wings are literal, not just the 'wings of poesy' (Keats, wasn't it?) - notice the phrasing and punctuation, giving a butterfly-like shape to the whole poem. Carefully arranged in related sequences, they explore and praise God as Herbert discovered Him within the fluctuations of his own experience. These poems are intensely personal prayers, besides being beautiful (and artistic) poetry. Suresh. There is a Herbert bio on Luminarium: http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/herbert/herbbio.htm [thomas adds] Two other 'visual poems' to have featured on the Minstrels are 'A Prayer to the Sun', by Geoffrey Hill: poem #349 'Landscape: I', by bpNichol poem #497 Herbert's most famous poem is probably 'The Pulley', which you can read at poem #391